Questions tagged [vowel-quantity]

For questions about vowel length.

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5
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2answers
153 views

What is the correct vowel quantity for the participle of legō?

In the following, vowel quantities which I am uncertain of, will be marked with both a breve and a macron, so they should not be considered the answer; that is what I am searching for. This whole ...
4
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1answer
60 views

Which is correct? Eugenius or Eugenīus or both?

Checking the dictionary entries for Eugenius, I was surprised to find different vowel quantities depending on whether it was the adjective or the noun. As you can see from the screenshot above, ...
6
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1answer
232 views

The correct use of the breve in Latin

Correct me if I'm wrong. There are 6 diphthongs in Latin: ae au ei eu oe ui So if one were to encounter ăĕ it would follow that both vowels would be short and do not together form diphthong which ...
5
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2answers
318 views

Does vowel quantity ever change in the root of a word during conjugation?

I have built a database of Latin words but am having a few problems. I have two databases, one is from Python's CLTK, the other is from online-latin-dictionary.com (OLD). The Python database is ...
3
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2answers
129 views

Inconsistent use of short and long vowel signs

To my knowledge every vowel is either long, short or belongs to a diphthong, there are no vowels which are medium in length. If a vowel belongs to a diphthong, it seems that modern writers will mark ...
5
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2answers
321 views

Why is the root vowels of 'salsus' and 'saliō' from 'sāl' shortened?

Working my way through the Duolingo course, I noticed that salsus has a short root vowel, even though sāl, sālis¹ is long-voweled. The etymology entry on Wiktionary states that the adjective is from ...
9
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2answers
754 views

Is the 'i' in 'videt' long or short?

I am currently reading Ørberg’s Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata, where he thankfully makes use of the macron to distinguish long vowels form short ones. However, and I have seen this elsewhere as well,...
5
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1answer
49 views

Why does ‘lūdīs’ end in a short syllable in Ov. Ep. Sapph. 16?

In Ovid’s Epistulae 16.152–153, the following two lines are found (‘eligiac couplet’, I believe is the term in English): mṓre tuǽ gentī́s nitidā́ dum nū́da palǽstrā̆    lū́dis et és ...
6
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1answer
102 views

Is there a dictionary for pronunciation explanations?

All dictionaries I have seen that state vowel quantities simply state them but do not explain how the quantity of each vowel was determined. The same goes for the distinctions between vocalic and ...
7
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1answer
316 views

Did Latin ever have a rule of lengthening vowels in monosyllables ending in /s/?

I was surprised by the following portion of "Exceptions to rhotacism", by Kyle Gorman (2012): Latin has a bimoraic minimal word requirement, implemented by a process of Subminimal ...
8
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3answers
600 views

Vowel shortening before another vowel: Exceptions

I am rather ashamed to admit that I used to pronounce Alexandrea (or Alexandria, cf. Ἀλεξάνδρεια) incorrectly in Latin, that is I mistakenly applied the famous rule "vocalis ante vocalem ...
9
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1answer
208 views

How do I know if there's an “invisible yod”?

I've been told that the first syllable of abiciō is long by position, because it's actually an underlying *abjiciō, which causes it to be syllabified as *ab-ji-ci-ō before the *ji simplifies to i. So ...
5
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1answer
128 views

Found eius but pēius in the same text: is it some kind of mistake?

While I was reading Lingua Latina per se Illustrata - Familia Romana, I noted something: the vocabulary list has ĕius but pēius, is that by accident? Also I noted meī as mēī in line 92 of chapter 25, ...
3
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1answer
70 views

Are the two types of lustra distinguishable?

One meaning of the word lustrum is a sacrifice for purification done every five years; another is a house of ill repute. I'd always figured that the two were complete homophones. However, someone ...
5
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1answer
357 views

Under what conditions can “length by position” occur, and what does it actually mean?

I am studying Latin and one of the definitions in my textbook is kind of confusing. A syllable can be long in one of two ways: Length by nature. If the syllable contains a long vowel or ...
4
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2answers
232 views

How long is a banana?

The word banana and variants thereof appear in a number of languages. The origin appears to be the word banaana in Wolof, if Wikipedia is to be trusted. This word is straightforward to adopt into ...
2
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0answers
56 views

What evidence is there of a short vowel in the first syllable of “vallum”?

Two sources that I've come across indicate a long vowel /aː/ in the first syllable of the word vallum 'palisade wall' (that is, vāllum). This form is given in The Latin Language, by Charles E. ...
6
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0answers
100 views

What is the etymology of Ἁμαδρυάς (Hamadryas)? Is the second alpha actually long?

I am trying to find more information about the formation and pronunciation of the Greek noun Ἁμαδρυάς, taken into Latin as Hamadryas. L&S transcribes the second a of the Latin form with a macron: ...
3
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57 views

What is the nature of variation between αι and α in (Pre-)Greek words?

When trying to answer a previous question about the patronymic derived from Asclepius, I came across the following quotation from Beekes in the Wikipedia entry on Asclepius: The name is typical for ...
6
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1answer
118 views

An unambiguous example of 'īt'

The regular perfect them form for "he went" is iit. In an answer to this question about two short versus one long vowel, TKR mentions that this form can be contracted to īt. In a text without macrons ...
5
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1answer
189 views

What is the evidence for a long vowel in χριστός “anointed” and Latin Christus?

The Greek word χριστός, used as a translation of Hebrew משיח "messiah", and meaning something like "anointed" (Liddell and Scott), apparently has a long vowel in the first syllable....
7
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2answers
390 views

What evidence points to a long ō in the first syllable of nōscō's present-tense form?

I've read in various sources that the verb nosco 'know' had a long vowel in the first syllable in Classical Latin pronunciation: nōscō [noːskoː]. I'm wondering what the linguistic evidence is for the ...
5
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2answers
299 views

Does any Greek word have a geminate consonant after a long vowel?

I recently noticed a pattern in loans from Hebrew into Greek: the letter šin (or sin, or łin if you're really archaic) is transcribed σσ after a short vowel, σ elsewhere. My knowledge of Classical ...
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112 views

How many vowel qualities did Oscan have?

Oscan was an Italic language related to Latin, which died out somewhere in the early centuries CE. It's notable for being used in the Fabulae Atellanae and for being the source of various loans into ...
2
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2answers
241 views

Where can I get a reliable list of words with macrons on?

When people are adding macrons to text, how do they know where the macrons should be? Is there a list somewhere? e.g. insula -> īnsula or īnsulā maxima -> maxima or māxima etc. I'd like to ...
4
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1answer
180 views

In ancient Attic Greek, how (un)stable were “ΝΣ”/“ΝΖ” and preceding vowels?

In Latin, it is thought (as far as I know) that within a single word, /ns/ and /nf/ were always preceded by a long vowel. This is a somewhat complicated result of a hypothesized sound change in words ...
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0answers
117 views

Are there specific exceptions to the rule of lengthening a vowel before “ns” or “nf”?

A while ago, I wrote an answer summarizing my understanding of the rule that a vowel is long in Classical Latin before ns or nf. As far as I know, this rule applied very regularly. But I'm not sure ...
8
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1answer
114 views

Is the U long or short in the forms ussi and ustus of the verb ūro?

I'm uncertain about the length of the u in the perfect and perfect passive participle stems of the verb uro /uːroː/. My research Lewis (1890) gives "ūrō ūssī, ūstus" but doesn't explain why....
2
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1answer
108 views

Using “R” to mark vowel length

When messaging a British colleague, I noticed something interesting in the orthography. Where I would write "she killed" as necāvit, she writes necarvit. In a non-rhotic accent, this makes perfect ...
7
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2answers
278 views

Was the old ablative pronoun “med” or “mēd”?

In Classical times, the first singular ablative pronoun ("from me") was mē, with a long ē. However, the older form seems to have been med, with a final -d. Do we know whether this earlier form was ...
5
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1answer
435 views

Quality of final ĕ ĭ ŏ

Evidence from the Romance languages provides fairly good evidence for distinct qualities, [ɛ] vs. [eː], for ĕ and ē in stressed syllables when followed by a consonant. Likewise for ŏ and ō as [ɔ] vs. [...
2
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2answers
129 views

Do contracted perfects have long or short vowels?

Many verbs have a suffix -v- in the perfect tense, which tends to disappear (or "contract" or "syncopate") before the ending: amā- > amāvisti > amāsti "you loved", audī- > audīvisti > audīsti "you ...
5
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1answer
661 views

Are there any words in Latin that are “light”?

In Latin, every syllable is either "light" or "heavy". A "heavy" syllable is one that has a long vowel and/or a coda consonant, and a "light" syllable is anything else. This distinction is important ...
5
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1answer
115 views

How long was the privative alpha?

In Ancient Greek, the "privative alpha" is a negating prefix, cognate to Latin in- (as in "in-conceivable", not "in-flammable") and English "un-". It survives in English in words like "a-typical" and "...
3
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0answers
136 views

“Alēctō” or “Allēctō”?

"Alēctō" is the name of one of the Furies, made surprisingly famous in the Harry Potter books. It seems to come straightforwardly from Greek ă- "not" + lēg- "stop" + -tos "[adjective]", so "...
4
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2answers
667 views

How can you tell whether prefixed ‘in-’ is the preposition ‘in’ or Indo-European ‘in-’?

Background The verb īnsum has the prefix in-. Prefixing in/in- to words, changes their meaning to ‘in’, ‘on’ et sim., or ‘un-’, ‘non’ et sim. (ɔ:¹ negation).² However, according to Wiktionary, the ...
11
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3answers
4k views

What makes a syllable “heavy” or “light”?

The rules for positioning of syllable stress in Latin are relatively simple; they are as follows: In two-syllable words, the stress always falls on the first syllable. In three or more syllable ...
3
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1answer
402 views

How was iī pronounced?

Most of the time, Latin doesn't allow two instances of the same vowel next to each other: forms like *mee (from meus) are replaced with alternatives like mī. However, in I-stem second nouns, the ...
4
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1answer
120 views

vowel length in “pro” before “f”

When I'm reading macronized texts, the prefix "pro" always seems to be marked long, with the exception of a few words in which it's followed by the letter "f": profugus, for example, and proficīscī, ...
4
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1answer
266 views

Which vowel combinations contract?

In Attic Greek in particular, there are well-understood patterns of "vowel contraction" that replace two vowels in hiatus with a single vowel or diphthong. But in Latin, contraction seems much more ...
6
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1answer
128 views

Why is there a short ŭ in rŭtus?

In Cerberus's list of u-stem verbs, rŭō, rŭere, rŭī, rŭtus is the only one with a short ŭ in the participle stem. Why is this? Does it go back to different types of verbs in PIE, as with stătus ...
8
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2answers
199 views

Are there other verbs in -uō?

Someone asked me recently about the conjugation of the obscene verb futuō, futuere, futuī, futūtus—and in particular about the quantity of the ū in the participle. I intended to look at some other -...
9
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2answers
390 views

Vowel length in future perfect indicative and perfect conjunctive

I want to compare future perfect active indicative and perfect active conjunctive. They look identical, apart from first person singular (cogitavero ≠ cogitaverim). But is there a difference in the ...
8
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1answer
258 views

The length of the final vowel in first declension nouns (Greek)

How can you tell whether a first declension noun ends in a short or long vowel? Background When the word is written and accented, I may be able to tell. (Not always. E.g. θύρᾱ if without the macron)...
4
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2answers
300 views

Understanding Lewis and Short: Why sūbĭcĭo and not subjĭcĭo?

I just searched for Christmas questions on our site, and ended up reading this question and its answer. There was a mention of the Lewis and Short entry on the verb subicere, and I was puzzled by the ...
2
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2answers
285 views

How do we know that the alpha in μυῖα is short and the alpha in γενεά is long?

I was reading the answers to this interesting question, about the analogy of forming compound nouns from muia ("fly") and genea ("birth"). And cnread brought up the interesting ...
3
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0answers
29 views

Does any text corpus allow quantity-sensitive searches?

Is there a text corpus, preferably of classical Latin, in which one can or even must search with specific vowel quantities? This came up when I wanted to search for patĕre but not patēre and had ...
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0answers
293 views

How to know long and short vowels if it is not marked? [duplicate]

Latin has vowels which are long and short. The long ones are marked by a dash on the top of the letter. How do I know how to pronounce the letters if the long and short vowels are not marked in a text?...
8
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2answers
416 views

Why a long ē in rēx, rēgis but not in regere or regiō?

I'm assuming it's not a phonological thing—like, if the ē in rēx was compensatorily lengthened because of g—>x, then it would be regis, not rēgis, right?
7
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2answers
261 views

Is there any rule to the length of “e” in “-ensis<”?

Is there any rule to the length of e in -ensis? I looked up the following words in Perseus (which give entries from 'Lewis & Short' and 'Elem. Lewis') and Wiktionary, without being able to ...